Send to

Choose Destination
J Exp Zool. 2001 Apr 15;291(1):68-84.

Isolation of Dlx and Emx gene cognates in an agnathan species, Lampetra japonica, and their expression patterns during embryonic and larval development: conserved and diversified regulatory patterns of homeobox genes in vertebrate head evolution.

Author information

Department of Biology, Okayama University Faculty of Science, Okayama, Japan.


Agnathan cognates of vertebrate homeobox genes, Emx and Dlx, were isolated from embryonic cDNA of a Japanese marine lamprey, Lampetra japonica. Analyses of amino acid sequences indicated that the Dlx cognate was closely related to the common ancestor of gnathostome Dlx1 and Dlx6 groups and termed LjDlx1/6. Southern blot analyses could not rule out the possibility that L. japonica possesses more than one paralog for both LjDlx1/6 and LjEmx, the lamprey cognate of Emx. Expression of LjDlx1/6 was regulated spatially as well as developmentally, and its transcripts were mainly found in the craniofacial and pharyngeal mesenchyme and in the forebrain. The expression pattern of LjEmx changed dramatically during embryogenesis; expression was seen initially in the entire neural tube and mesoderm, which were secondarily downregulated, and secondarily in cranial nerve ganglia and in the craniofacial mesenchyme. No specific expression of LjEmx was seen in the telencephalon. Comparisons of Dlx and Otx gene expression patterns suggested a shared neuromeric pattern of the vertebrate brain. Absence of Emx expression implied that the patterning of the lamprey telencephalon is not based on the tripartite plan that has been presumed in gnathostomes. Expression domains of LjDlx1/6 in the upper lip and of LjEmx in the craniofacial mesenchyme were peculiar features that have not been known in gnathostomes. Such differences in expression pattern may underlie distinct morphogenetic pathway of the mandibular arch between the agnathans and gnathostomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center